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The ARGUMENT. Satan, now in prospect of Eden, and nigh

the place where he must now attempt the bold enterprize which he undertook alone againf God, and Man, falls into many doubts with himself, and many passions, fear, envy, and despair: but at length confirms himself in evil, journeys on to Paradise

, whose outward prospect and situation is described, overleaps the bounds, fits in the shape of a cormorant on the Tree of Life, as the highest in the garden, to look about him. The garden defcribed; Satan's first sight of Adam and Eve; his wonder at their excellent form and happy fate, but with resolution to work their fall; overhears their dif

course; thence gathers that the Tree of Knowledge was forbidden them to eat of, under penalty of death; and thereon intends to found his temptation, by seducing them to transgress: then leaves them awhile to know further of their state by some other means. Mean-while Uriel descending on a sun-beam warns Gabriel (who had in charge the gate of Paradise) that some evil spirit had escaped the Deep, and past at noon by his sphere in the shape of a good Angel down to Paradise, discovered afterwards by his furious gestures in the mount: Gabriel promises to find him out e'er morning. Night comes on, Adam and Eve discourse of going to their rest: their bower described; their evening worship. Gabriel drawing forth his bands of night-watch to walk the round of Paradise, appoints two Arong Angels to Adam's bower, left the evil spirit should be there doing some harm to Adam or Eve sleeping ; there they find him at the ear of Eve, tempting her in a dream, and bring him, tho unwilling, to Gabriel ; by whom question’d, he scorn

fully answers, prepares resistance, but, hinderd by a sign from heav'n, flies out of Paradise.


O he sawa


Th’ Apocalyps heard cry in heav'n aloud,
Thon when the Dragon, put to second rout,
Came furious down to be reveng'd on men,
Wo to tl' inbabitants on eartb! that now

While time was, our first parents had been warned
The coming of their secret foe, and scap'd
Haply fo fcap'd, his mortal snare: for now
Satan, now first inflam'd with rage, came down,
(The tempter, e'er th' accuser, of mankind,)
To wreak on innocent frail man his loss
Of that first battel, and his flight to hell.
Yet not rejoycing in his speed, though bold,
Far off and fearless, nor with cause to boaft,
Begins his dire attempt; which nigh the birth 15
Now rowling, boils in his tumultuous breast,
And like a devilish engine back recoils
Upon himself: horror and doubt distract
His troubled thoughts; and from the bottom stir
The hell within him, (for within him hell
He brings, and round about him, nor from hell
One step, no more than from himself, can fly
By change of place:) now conscience wakes despair,
That number'd; wakes the bitter memory
Of what he was, what is, and what must be, 25
Worse! of worse deeds worse sufferings must ensue.
Sometimes tow'rds Eden, which now in his view
Lay pleasant, his griev'd look he fixes sad:
Sometimes tow'rds heav'n, and the full blazing fun,



Which now sat higla in his meridian tow'r: 30 Then much revolving, thus in fighs began.

O thou! that, with surpassing glory crown'd, Look'st from thy fole dominion like the God Of this new world; at whose fight all the stars Hide their diminish'd heads; to thee I call, 33 But with no friendly voice, and add thy name, O Sun! to tell thee how I hate thy beams, That bring to my remembrance from what ftate I fell : how glorious once above thy sphere ! 'Till pride, and worse ambition, threw me down, 40 Warring in heav'n against heav'n's matchless King. Ah wherefore! He deserv'd no such return From me, whom He created what I was, In that bright eminence; and with his good Upbraided none; nor was his service hard.

45 What could be less ! than to afford him praise, (The easiest recompense,) and pay him thanks : How due ! yet all his good prov'd ill in me, And wrought but malice : lifted up so high I 'Idein'd subjection, and thought one step higher 50 Would set me highest; and in a moment quit The debt immense of endless gratitude; So burthensome, still paying, still to owe; Forgetful what from Him I still receiv'd : And understood not that a grateful mind 55 By owing owes not, but still pays, at once Indebted, and discharg'd: what burden then? O had His pow'rful destiny ordain'd Me some inferior Angel! I had stood

Then happy; no unbounded hope had rais'd 60
Ambition ! Yet why not? some other Pow'r
As great might have aspir’d, and me though mean
Drawn to his part : but other Pow'rs as great
Fell not, but stand unshaken; from within,
Or from without, to all temptations arm'd. 6;
Hadft thou the fame free will, and pow'r, to stand?
Thou hadft! Whom haft thou then, or what, t'accuse,
But heav'n's free love, dealt equally to all ?
Be then His love accurst, since love, or hate
To me alike, it deals eternal woe :

Nay, curft be thou ! since against His thy will
Chose freely what it now so juftly rues.
Me miserable! which way shall I fly
Infinite wrath, and infinite despair ?
Which way I fly is hell; my self am hell ; 75
And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep
Still threat'ning to devour me opens wide ;
To which the hell I suffer seems a heav'n.
O then at last relent! Is there no place
Left for repentance ? none for pardon left? 80
None left, but by submission; and that word
Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame
Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduc'd
With other promises, and other vaunts
Than to submit, boasting I could subdue
Th' Omnipotent. Ah me! they little know
How dearly I abide that boast so vain ;
Under what torments inwardly I groan,
While they adore me on the throne of hell.

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